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What welder to buy?

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  • What welder to buy?

    Well I'm a NEWBIE to this forum.
    I've dealt with welders & repair co's long enough and I have found that with small jobs are almost impossible to find anyone willing to do them (affordably)

    I have sufficient info on the processes and know that I need Tig & Mig

    I am in both the bakery business and the restaurant equipment business.
    So I need Mig for stainless repair (such as brackets on sinks) and Tig to repair the multitude of aluminum bakery racks with sub-standard weldiments or engineering that cause these weld failures (the whole bunch are basically a P.I.T.A. and are quite delicate at around 1/16-1/8 thick angle runners or
    3/4" square tubing.

    How important would a pulser be to this type of A/C Tig welding, necessary or not?

    Would the econo tig be sufficient?

    I also have seen the Hobart line by Miller and wondered how good are they against the Miller main line?

    With tig welding how improtant is air-cooled guns vs. liquid cooled, and which is more effective at coolong and for what length of working time?

    My work shop has 120, 208 & 240 volt 1ph and ample circuits to handle one welder of any of these voltages.

    As far as mig, I could buy many of the smaller welders such as some I've seen at Northern tool (I'm not stupid enough to buy this type of equipment from Harbor F) that can do up to 3/16, but I don't know if later on I will need a larger capacity up to possibly 5/16-3/8".

    And since I work with stainless quite a bit, I might need a plasma cutter, because cutting holes in 316 SS ain't a picknick and at one holesaw per hole could be pricy (not as pricy as a plasma though) and I would presume plasma would be quicker less the set up time.

    What ever units recommended would be appreciated and although I don't want to use the "L" word here...how does miller stand up to its competition and all of the hype of lower current draw against Miller with a excellent transformer and who has the better warranty and will I ever use that warranty? I also know of Esab and Invertec and know Esab doesn't have as affordable units as Miller & "L", but what about Invertec and body have experience with them or are all you guys die-hard Miller fans.

    Feed back and advice gladly accepted.

    Sincerely,

    Howard A.

  • #2
    "l"?

    whats "L" mean...oh lincoln! no personally i think the brand of welder wether be miller,lincoln,hobart ect. it just depends on what u prefer. u could consider a mig with a spool gun if that would work because that might cut down on cost but i know tig is a lot more versitle.

    Comment


    • #3
      the new hobart handler210 sounds like a good fit here. add the spoolgun for the aluminum that dose not require TIG. its small enought to be some what portable. although the passport would realy fit the bill better come to think about it, although no aluminum option.
      add a spectrum 375 extream and you have a small portable plasma cutter if you can take air with you . if not the spectrum125C is excelent on small stuff and has its own air. i have had mine about 5 years and love it3/16th is pushing it on the thickness.
      the dyn200DX would be my first choice for TIG with its 110V option its the most portable one out. if $ is an ishue the TA-185 (i have one) is an excelent option but no 110V only 220V
      all of this is geared tword being mobile. if its shop work and not mobile then go MM210 with spool gun, spect375, syncrowave 200 and you are coverd.

      Comment


      • #4
        Welcome, lots of questions that have have many answers but I guess I can offer a few thought and others will come with more.

        First is that Miller does not have, nor did it ever have a Hobart line of welders. Miller and Hobart are seperate companies owned by ITW, some of the products use the same peices but the companies are seperately owned and sell to their own markets.

        If you are just doing SS and Aluminum then maybe all you need is a tig, I would suggest a Miller Dynasty 200DX. It will have a great pulser if needed for really thin stuff, however I never use mine.

        If you do feel you need a mig then the new Hobart handler 210 thats available at northern might be a good fit. And you could get a spoolgun later if you need to do aluminum 1/4"+ it will be no problem.

        As to the plasma, if you are needing to cut 1/8" Ss mostly then the new Miller Extreem 375 should work nicely. Of course you will need a compressor to make it all work.

        The only Lincolns I know about are the small migs, the ones I have used weld fine and the one tig, PT175 I used was nice also.

        Warrenty and customer service IMO are the best with both Miller and Hobart, as far as if you will need a warrenty ... no way to tell that as there is to way to tell if the fickle finger of fate will be pointed at you, no matter what brand you buy.

        Enough for me here, I feel sure others will have more and diffferent thoughts, those are mine.

        Comment


        • #5
          The Hobart line is the same quality as the Miller line, just some of the comparable models have fewer features. They are fine for most users. In fact, on some they are identical or the differences actually make the Hobarts easier to use.

          Sounds like an HH210 with a spoolgun could do everything, otherwise an HH140 for the stainless sheet and a Tigmate could be minimum equipment if you want to go the TIG-also route.

          Is the aluminum 14-ga. or thicker?

          Also, the HH140 or HH187 can do aluminum without a spoolgun, but there're complications involved with feeding the soft wire.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Howard Amster View Post
            Well I'm a NEWBIE to this forum.
            I've dealt with welders & repair co's long enough and I have found that with small jobs are almost impossible to find anyone willing to do them (affordably)

            I have sufficient info on the processes and know that I need Tig & Mig

            I am in both the bakery business and the restaurant equipment business.
            So I need Mig for stainless repair (such as brackets on sinks) and Tig to repair the multitude of aluminum bakery racks with sub-standard weldiments or engineering that cause these weld failures (the whole bunch are basically a P.I.T.A. and are quite delicate at around 1/16-1/8 thick angle runners or
            3/4" square tubing.

            How important would a pulser be to this type of A/C Tig welding, necessary or not?

            Would the econo tig be sufficient?

            I also have seen the Hobart line by Miller and wondered how good are they against the Miller main line?

            With tig welding how improtant is air-cooled guns vs. liquid cooled, and which is more effective at coolong and for what length of working time?

            My work shop has 120, 208 & 240 volt 1ph and ample circuits to handle one welder of any of these voltages.

            As far as mig, I could buy many of the smaller welders such as some I've seen at Northern tool (I'm not stupid enough to buy this type of equipment from Harbor F) that can do up to 3/16, but I don't know if later on I will need a larger capacity up to possibly 5/16-3/8".

            And since I work with stainless quite a bit, I might need a plasma cutter, because cutting holes in 316 SS ain't a picknick and at one holesaw per hole could be pricy (not as pricy as a plasma though) and I would presume plasma would be quicker less the set up time.

            What ever units recommended would be appreciated and although I don't want to use the "L" word here...how does miller stand up to its competition and all of the hype of lower current draw against Miller with a excellent transformer and who has the better warranty and will I ever use that warranty? I also know of Esab and Invertec and know Esab doesn't have as affordable units as Miller & "L", but what about Invertec and body have experience with them or are all you guys die-hard Miller fans.

            Feed back and advice gladly accepted.

            Sincerely,

            Howard A.
            I am going to pick apart some of your presumptions. I do this not intending to offend just to educate and share my experience.

            First GMAW (mig) will do both AL. and SS. and second GTAW (tig) will both AL. and SS.

            Pulse is handy, and once you get used to it I find I miss it when not available, I welded for 20 years without it and did not miss it.

            Econo tigs are nice unites and "MIGHT" do all that you need. Light duty machines like the Miller 180 SW, ESAB 161, and on and on,must have a place they are inexpensive I have burned out two Lincoln 180 amp tig machines just by over working them.

            Air or water cooling... if you are going to try to weld for and hour or more straight at 150 amps or more and the machine will do this then I would look at water cooled.


            If you are using up a hole saw in one hole heck 100 holes in stainless it had better be thick 3/8" or better.
            The trick to mechanical cutting of SS is low speed and high pressure and NO heat build up. I have been using the same hole saw to cut .065 wall SS tubing for two years, it is missing one tooth I have sold and fabricated well over 1000 feet in that time. For small holes like for 1/4' bolts plasma will take for ever when you add in the clean up time. same goes for smaller hole saw holes say 1.5" and under unless you are making 5 or more holes. I can buy 90 1.5" hole saws at $20.00 each for the price of a plasma machine not including consumables and power. If you are using the plasma instead of a shear then you have a tool that makes money sort of. Plasma's are expensive to buy and to operate some are somewhat fragile.

            As to setup time unless you have an air compressor going anyway and a dedicated plasma station, I'll bet for one ore two holes the hole saw will be quicker.

            With the fact that you are using all of this as a compliment to you existing business.
            My recommendation is for Miller SW 200 or Dynasty 200DX if you find you must have GMAW then I would look at the passport.

            Comment


            • #7
              My 2 cents

              Howard,

              If you are new to welding you will do far better with a wire feed machine(MIG) than with a TIG. Either will work for your needs... TIG takes a bit more practice and control to master. TIG welder provides a superior weld, but, by your posting, it does not sound like you'd need or will benefit from the added complexity.

              Personally I'd look at one of the new Miller MIG machines (like the Millermatic 252) and a spool gun. The 252 will do SS and Aluminum, has infinite voltage control, integrated spoolgun controller and dual gas setup. It will provide good welds on 3/16 to 1/2 inch thick material and is very easy to use and master.

              If you anticipate having to weld thinner materials than I'd look at a Dynasty 200DX (TIG MACHINE). It is a real gem to use and the standard air-cooled torch is fine unless you weld at high output for long intervals.

              As far as quality and brands I have two Miller machines (Bobcat and Dynasty 200DX), an Esab MigMaster 250 and a Lincoln wirefeed. All weld, but the quality of the Miller machines outshines all the rest hands down!

              Good luck...

              PS: I agree with Fat-Fab - plasma is NOT the way to cut (small) holes in SS!
              You are better off getting some good hole saws and a decent drill!
              Last edited by artthatworks; 06-13-2007, 11:48 PM.

              Comment


              • #8
                For the holes, get these:

                http://www.mygreenlee.com/Products/m...c_number=05766

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Howard Amster View Post
                  ... My work shop has 120, 208 & 240 volt 1ph and ample circuits to handle one welder of any of these voltages.
                  Howard, correct me if I'm wrong, but usually 208 voltage indicates you have 3 phase power available. You might want to check into that, it would expand your options, and would allow you to use some of Millers machines more efficiently, or at least a slightly higher power outputs/duty cycles.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Howard Amster View Post
                    ...My work shop has 120, 208 & 240 volt ...
                    Good catch. I'm also thinking that means you have Wye AND Delta-connected 3-phase transformers. Which means little to this discussion, but now you have to tell me anyway.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I have made some repairs on restauraunt equipment and have all been small. Both aluminum and stainless. I used the TIG every time, the pieces I had to repair were small and a spool gun on the aluminum would have been too big, probably not impossible but would not have looked as nice. The racks and trays usually have cracked welds which can be easily tig'd up. Most of the time with little or no prep. Most equipment is pretty clean [no paint and little oxidation]. Although the Mig is easier to learn the small repairs would be better handled with TIG, or....just buy em both

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        i think if he is trying to break into the market it would be best to have both MIG and TIG as an option. if not TIG would be a better choice if only one welder is to be had. TIG will alow you to work on anything. turning away biusness when first starting is tuff to get away with as you will likely never get back into there rolodex or call list . telling them you hope to be able to do that in a few months or weeks will put you out of there emergency repair plan fast.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Your right if he's breaking into the market he should have both, I thought he was doing it for himself in which case he should still have both.... ha ha ha

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by HMW View Post
                            Your right if he's breaking into the market he should have both, I thought he was doing it for himself in which case he should still have both.... ha ha ha
                            (RULE #1)theres no such thing as having too many welders

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              unforchenetly there is such a thing as not enough $$ to get them all.
                              but its nice to try.

                              Comment

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